Archives de catégorie : Billets

Socio-legal studies/sociologie du droit: methods, traditions, theories in France and the UK


This workshop stems from several observations: first, that socio-legal scholarship as a whole is strongly influenced by both institutional contexts and local scholarly traditions, which has led it to adopt very varied forms across jurisdictions. Second, that this diversity is both an interesting object of study to understand the possibilities and forms of socio-legal research and critique, and an obstacle to some cross-jurisdictional conversations. Third, that this is particularly noticeable and interesting in the context of France and the UK. While socio-legal studies have significantly developed over the past few decades, both in the UK and (though arguably to a lesser extent) in France, cross-channel conversations across relevant communities have remained limited. In addition, the forms that socio-legal scholarship has adopted in those two contexts are strikingly different (see: Renaud Colson, Stewart Field, “Socio-legal Studies in France: Beyond the Law Faculty”, Journal of Law and Society, vol. 43, no. 2, 2016, p. 285-311).

Although various bridges and connections have been made – through common projects, borrowing of ideas, methods or theories, or occasional encounters at conferences or within topic-specific contexts – there has historically been limited efforts to engage more broadly the growing socio-legal communities in France and the UK. Such conversations on a broader scale, however, could be highly interesting at several levels. In spite of shared aspirations, UK socio-legal studies and its French equivalents have developed in very different ways, sharing some theoretical and methodological traditions, while differing in many others. In addition, the institutional settings in which each movement has developed are in stark contrast, which in turn has certainly influenced the shape of scholarship itself. Reflecting on those different contexts, and their influences is useful in a context of continuous pressure on the development and maintenance of interdisciplinary legal scholarship, both in research and teaching.

In this workshop, we want to reflect on those different trajectories, and what they have to tell us about ‘socio-legal studies in context’, but also aim to bring together this scholarly diversity in order to explore ways forward, in terms of collaborations, and in terms of methodological and conceptual explorations.
Therefore, this workshop positions itself both as a first step towards a broader set of discussions and as a significant opportunity to reflect on the impact on our own traditions on the forms of knowledge produced.

The workshop has three key aims:

1) To reflect on how different institutional contexts and traditions have shaped socio-legal thought and scholarship in France and the UK
2) To bring together contrasting approaches developed by those traditions
3) To foster future exchange and research across communities in France and the UK and facilitate new collaborations

The workshop will be held in English.

Format/call for contributions

The workshop will to be based around 4 sessions. In the first three sessions, short papers will be given by keynote speakers, followed by longer questions, discussions and exchange.

For the final session, we would like to invite contributions from early career scholars (including PhD students), in the form of very brief presentations of 8-10 mins, offering an overview of a project, with particular attention the methodological/conceptual approach adopted. An abstract of 200 words should be submitted by email to by the 8th December 2017. We will endeavour to respond by the 15th December.


To register for the conference, A small fee of £50 will be requested for registration for participants other than speakers.
We may be able to offer limited financial support for ECRs for travels or accommodation. If you would need such support in order to attend the conference, please let us know as soon as possible.


Report 2014-2016 : Law & Anthropology Department

Law & Anthropology Department
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Report 2014-2016

The Law & Anthropology Department at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology has recently published its first triennial report covering the Department’s activities for the 2014-2016 period.

If you would find it more convenient to browse through this report in an electronic format, the online version is available at :—2016



Seminar : Forum Law as Culture

Program “Forum Law as Culture” for the 1st quarter of 2018



Through its homonymous forum, the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture” offers a space for interdisciplinary and intercultural exchange with international guests and fellows at the Center. The forum events take place on Tuesdays in the Center’s Max Weber Lecture Room and are open to the interested public. Admission is free.

The entire program from January to March 2018 can be accessed here (PDF).

Detailed information on individual lectures can be accessed under Activities.

Ablavsky on Original Meanings of « Indian Tribes »

Gregory Ablavsky, Stanford Law School, has posted « With the Indian Tribes »: Race, Citizenship, and Original Constitutional Meanings, which is forthcoming in the Stanford Law Review.

Under black-letter law declared in Morton v. Mancari, federal classifications of individuals as “Indian” based on membership in a federally recognized tribe rely on a political, not a racial, distinction, and so are generally subject only to rational-basis review. But the Supreme Court recently questioned this long-standing dichotomy, resulting in renewed challenges arguing that, because tribal membership usually requires Native ancestry, such classifications are race-based.

The term “Indian” appears twice in the original U.S. Constitution. A large and important scholarly literature has developed arguing that this specific constitutional inclusion of “Indian tribes” mitigates equal protection concerns. Missing from these discussions, however, is much consideration of these terms’ meaning at the time of the Constitution’s adoption. Most scholars have concluded that there is a lack of evidence on this point—a “gap” in the historical record.

This Essay uses legal, intellectual, and cultural history to close that “gap” and reconstruct the historical meanings of “tribe” and “Indian” in the late eighteenth century. Rather than a single “original meaning,” it finds duality: Anglo-Americans of the time also alternated between referring to Native communities as “nations,” which connoted equality, and “tribes,” which conveyed Natives’ purported uncivilized status. They also defined “Indians” both in racial terms, as non-white, and in jurisdictional terms, as non-citizens.

These contrasting meanings, I argue, have potentially important doctrinal implications for current debates in Indian law, depending on the interpretive approach applied. Although the term “tribe” had at times derogatory connotations, its use in the Constitution bolsters arguments emphasizing the significance of Native descent and arguably weakens current attacks on Native sovereignty based on invidious legal distinctions among Native communities. Similarly, there is convincing evidence to read “Indian” in the Constitution in political terms, justifying Morton’s dichotomy. But interpreting “Indian” as a “racial” category also provides little solace to Indian law’s critics, since it fundamentally undermines their insistence on a colorblind Constitution.

Introduction à l’anthropologie dogmatique


Le cinéma de Pierre Legendre

Le cinéma de Pierre Legendre. Introduction à l’anthropologie dogmatique est un coffret collector rassemblant les trois films documentaires devenus introuvables sur le marché :

  • La Fabrique de l’homme occidental (1996)
  • Miroir d’une Nation, l’Ecole Nationale d’Administration (1999)
  • Dominium Mundi, l’Empire du management (2007)

Conçus par Pierre Legendre, Gérald Caillat (réalisateur) et Pierre-Olivier Bardet (producteur), les films ont été produits par Idéale Audience en coproduction avec Arte France.

Ils sont accompagnés d’un livret inédit de 164 pages réunissant les trois textes complets de Pierre Legendre, ayant servi à l’écrirture des scénarii ainsi qu’un court et puissant récit, L’Homme en meurtrier, et onze billets dédicacés à l’auteur par des connaisseurs de cette œuvre singulière.

Deux philosophes, deux professeurs de droit, un professeur de littérature, un professeur en sciences de l’iinformation et de la communication, un producteur de cinéma, un avocat, un professeur d’urbanisme, un traducteur, un professeur de gestion d’une Grande Ecole de commerce – français, allemand, japonais ou anglais – invitent à s’aventurer dans la pensée de Pierre Legendre. Ces contributeurs ne sont nuls autres qu’Olivier Abel, Antoine Adeline, Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Françoise Choay, Peter Goodrich, Gérard Guest, Cécile Moiroud, Pierre Musso, Osamu Nishitaii, Clemens Pornschlegel et Roland Reitter.

Flyer – Cinéma de Pierre Legendre 2702.compressed

Pierre Legendre est professeur émérite de droit à l’Université de Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne (agrégé de droit romain et d’histoire du droit) et directeur d’études honoraire à l’Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Ve section, Sciences religieuses). Peu connu du grand public en France, il est considéré à l’étranger comme un des plus grands de la pensée française contemporaine. Il a produit une œuvre abondante sur les fondements du droit, le phénomène religieux, la filiation et la généalogie, les montages de l’Etat et du droit, l’histoire et les pratiques de la gestion. Il a rassemblé ces éléments en définissant un nouveau champ : l’anthropolgie dogmatique. Il dirige la collection « Les Quarantes Piliers » aux Editions Fayard et Mille et une nuits.


Anthropology of Law, Rights and Governance (LAW NET)


This network serves as a platform for exchange and collaboration for EASA members who are interested in law, rights discourses and the practices of governing. It is the outcome of a merger of the Network for the Anthropology of Law and Rights and the Network for the Anthropology of International Governance in 2016.

The new network’s interests include the codified law and specialised agencies of the modern nation-state and the wide range of customary legal and indigenous political institutions that have been studied by anthropologists since the early 20th century. It also reflects the increasing importance of mechanisms of private governance and authority exercised by powerful corporations and by networks representing financial and business interests. In addition, the network pays particular attention to the transnational and international dimension, especially the anthropology of international organisations, international human rights discourse, international indigenous rights, migration law, and international development.

Members of the network examine how various and often contradictory norms are produced and contested across scales through complex processes of formal and informal negotiation and mechanisms of participation. For example, civil society organisations and representatives of indigenous communities transcend the boundaries of the nation-states to draw attention to local problems at the international level and contribute to the emergence of global vocabularies and discourses. International actors in turn present themselves as working on a different scale from the local, but also claim a level of expertise about the situation ‘on the ground’. The international is thus enmeshed with local and national processes, and although it may seek to produce a sense of transcendence, it is always concretely located.

Current legal and political anthropological research examines

  • the co-existence of multiple normative orders (legal pluralism) in modern nation-states and beyond,
  • indigenous peoples’ legal systems and their claims against governments and private interests,
  • international human rights discourse,
  • asylum and refugee law as well as
  • banking, environmental and health regulations (to name just a few)
  • the making and implementation of development policies and projects
  • contemporary technologies and practices of governing and management.

To facilitate discussions and the development of exciting, cutting-edge research LAW NET maintains an active mailing list sharing information on publications, vacancies, funding opportunities and events. In addition, to the biannual EASA conference the network plans to hold regular workshops across Europe.

The network is keen to reach out to other associations and networks. For instance, it maintains a close relationship with the Commission of Legal Pluralism and Allegra, the virtual lab of legal anthropology.

For further information please contact Gerhard Anders, University of Edinburgh, and Birgit Müller, LAIOS CNRS/EHESS.

Commission on Legal Pluralism

Commission on Legal Pluralism

Website :

The Commission on Folk Law and Legal Pluralism -as it was originally called- was established in 1978 by the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES), and affiliated with the International Association of Legal Science (IALS), on the initiative of professor G. van den Steenhoven, of the Institute of Folk Law, Nijmegen University, the Netherlands.

By September 2017 more than 350 lawyers, anthropologists and other social scientists, representing all regions of the world and concerned with legal pluralism in both theory and practice, were participants in the activities of the Commission. The growth of the Commission reflects a growing awareness of the contemporary existence of legal plurality, not only in countries with indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, but also in the industrialised societies as such.

The Commission on Legal Pluralism furthers knowledge and understanding of legal pluralism, with a focus upon theoretical and practical problems resulting from the interaction of different types of law, such as state law, international and transnational law, religious law, and customary law. It provides a meeting ground for the concerns of social and legal sciences in the study of law in society and the resulting power relations, and in the resolution of social problems.

Among its main activities are the organization of international symposia; the initiation and encouragement of Regional Working Groups in different parts of the world; the organization and delivery of courses and summer schools on legal pluralism; and the publication of the Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law (JLP- thrice every year)

The Commission’s first scientific symposium was held in Bellagio, Italy, in 1981 on the theme « State Institutions and their Use of Folk Law ». The second, on « The Actual and Legal Position of Ethnic and Cultural Minorities », took place in Vancouver, in 1983. Two symposia were held in 1986: in Tutzing, Bavaria, Germany, on « Formal and Informal Social Security », and in Sydney, on « Folk Law and Indigenous Rights – A Comparative Perspective ». Since 1986, a long series of symposia were held in Zagreb (Yugoslavia, 1988), in Ottawa (Canada, 1990), in Amsterdam (Netherlands, 1991), in Wellington (New Zealand, 1992), Mexico City (Mexico, 1993), Accra (Ghana, 1995), Moscow (Russia, 1997), Williamsburg (U.S.A. 1998), Arica (Chile, 2000), Chiang Mai (Thailand, 2002), Fredericton (Canada, 2004), Jakarta (Indonesia, 2006), Zurich (Switzerland, 2009), Cape Town (South Africa 2011), Manchester (UK, 2013). The most recent congress took place in Mumbai, India in 2015.

Membership is open to anyone with a serious and substantial scholarly or practical commitment to or involvement in the field of legal pluralism. Those interested in joining are invited to register as a member at Groupspaces at or contact the Executive Secretary Dr. Giselle Corradi:

Commission on Legal Pluralism

New location and date for the next biennial course and conference of the Commission on Legal Pluralism: 17-24 August 2018, Ottawa, Canada

In March, the Executive Body of the Commission on Legal Pluralism decided to postpone and relocate the course and conference planned for August 2017 in Syracuse, NY. This decision was taken in response to worries over the US government’s travel ban and the increased hostility to Muslims and other visitors to the United States at immigration and customs.

The University of Ottawa has graciously offered to host the Legal Pluralism conference and course in August of 2018. The conference will take place from 22 to 24 August 2018, as usual preceded by our course from 17 to 20 August. Please mark these dates in your calendar!

The theme of the conference ‘Citizenship, Legal Pluralism and Governance in the Age of Globalization’ remains unchanged. Please find here a renewed call for panels, which is open until 31 October 2017. While all accepted panels are of course very welcome again, we need everyone to re-submit their panels to confirm they want to partake in the 2018 conference. We also invite new panel proposals.

Prior to the conference, we will organise an international course, covering theories, knowledge and methodologies of legal pluralism. Accepted candidates for the course in Syracuse will also be contacted about their participation in the 2018 course. Additional interested candidates can apply until 1 November 2017. If you are interested in learning more about the course, please have a look here!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at We are hoping to see many of you in Ottawa in August of 2018!

La coutume kanak dans l’État. Perspectives coloniales et postcoloniales sur la Nouvelle-Calédonie

La coutume kanak dans l’État

Perspectives coloniales et postcoloniales sur la Nouvelle-Calédonie

Benoît Trépied, Christine Demmer [dir.]
L’Harmattan, Cahiers du Pacifique Sud Contemporain, 2017.
ISBN : 978-2-343-10718-9

  La Nouvelle-Calédonie approche désormais du référendum d’autodétermination de 2018 devant décider de son avenir politique. Vingt ans après la signature de l’accord de Nouméa, ce scrutin clôturera un processus original de décolonisation dans la République, qui incluait la création d’une citoyenneté néo-calédonienne fondée sur la reconnaissance préalable de l’identité kanak. Or l’inscription progressive de la « coutume » dans les domaines du droit, de la justice et de la représentation politique a eu pour effet de cliver le débat sur les formes possibles de l’émancipation kanak. Pour certaines « autorités coutumières », comme pour les théoriciens et praticiens d’un « droit coutumier », compte désormais moins le projet d’indépendance que celui de la souveraineté interne, un concept issu du registre international des droits des peuples autochtones et nouvellement importé en Nouvelle-Calédonie.

Cet ouvrage éclaire les enjeux et tensions que soulève le lien entre décolonisation et reconnaissance de la coutume dans le contexte calédonien. Il réunit des textes qui s’appuient  sur des enquêtes empiriques, tantôt inscrites dans le passé colonial (recherches sur archives), tantôt ancrées dans le présent de l’archipel (enquêtes de terrain ethnographiques). Interroger les mobilisations et les politiques menées au nom de la coutume kanak au fil du temps, permet ici d’élaborer un regard critique sur les divers sens conférés à la reconnaissance de l’altérité culturelle. Par là même, le cas calédonien contribue à renouveler la réflexion sur l’unicité de l’Etat et ses limites en situation coloniale et postcoloniale.

Les auteurs

Manon Capo, Christine Demmer, Jean-Louis Halperin, Tate LeFevre, Michel Naepels, Marie Salaün, Christine Salomon, Benoît Trépied

Table des matières

  • Introduction, Christine Demmer et Benoît Trépied
  • Chapitre 1 – Une histoire coloniale du « conseil des anciens » en Nouvelle-Calédonie,Michel Naepels
  • Chapitre 2 – Égalité totale ou évolution encadrée et séparée. Retour sur les années 1946-1956, Christine Salomon
  • Chapitre 3 – A propos du Sénat coutumier. De la promotion mélanésienne à la défense des droits autochtones, Christine Demmer et Christine Salomon
  • Chapitre 4 – Entre droit coutumier et droit civil : vers un droit mixte ? Réflexions après une enquête auprès des praticiens du droit, Jean-Louis Halpérin
  • Chapitre 5 – Le recueil de droit coutumier Paicî-Camûkî. « Autopsie » d’un projet classé sans suite, Manon Capo
  • Chapitre 6  – « Vous avez oublié que vous êtes Kanak ! » La justice coutumière face aux nouvelles relations familiales kanak, Benoît Trépied
  • Chapitre 7 – La tribu dans la ville : l’espace urbain, l’autorité coutumière et la marginalisation de la jeunesse kanak, Tate LeFevre
  • Chapitre 8 – Malaise dans la coutume ? Réflexions à propos de l’usage de la notion dans un ouvrage de Régis Lafargue, Marie Salaün

Droit & Anthropologie

Ce carnet de recherche Droit & Anthropologie souhaite rendre compte de manière régulière non seulement de l’activité scientifique dans le domaine de l’anthropologie juridique mais plus généralement de tous les travaux qui s’efforcent de mettre en lumière l’apport de l’anthropologie dans l’élucidation de ce qu’est « le droit ». Ce carnet s’intéresse à l’ensemble des domaines de l’anthropologie explorant les phénomènes de juridicité : anthropologie juridique stricto sensu, anthropologie des institutions, anthropologie historique du droit, anthropologie de la parenté, anthropologie politique, etc.

Ce carnet pourra accueillir les appels à communication, les annonces de conférences, de colloques, de publications (ouvrages, revues et articles), la présentation des actions de formation doctorale, les annonces de soutenances de thèses, la mise en lumière de sources, la réalisation d’expositions virtuelles, les informations bibliographiques ou encore des entretiens avec des acteurs de ce champ.

Les objectifs de ce blog sont les suivants : 1°) centraliser autant que possible toutes les informations sur les travaux et les initiatives scientifiques abordant les phénomènes juridiques dans une perspective anthropologique  ; 2°) rendre plus visible les travaux dans ce domaine pour contribuer à une compréhension renouvelée des phénomènes normatifs ; 3°) tenter de fédérer la communauté des chercheurs travaillant sur les relations entre droit et anthropologie par un accroissement des échanges et une meilleure circulation de l’information ; 4°) renforcer l’identité de la discipline au sein de l’espace académique et favoriser en particulier les discussions entre les juristes et les anthropologues.

Le blog est animé par des chercheurs français et étrangers investis dans le domaine de l’anthropologie juridique.